Santa Claus' Punch and Judy
WARNING! Parents may wish to watch this before exposing innocent eyes to the comic brutality of a Punch and Judy puppet show from the late 1940s - including some very non-PC scenes.
Punch & Judy professor/historian Geoff Felix describes the film:
The value of this film is that it is a record of a performance by George Prentice whose Punch and Judy show achieved great popularity in Variety during the 1930's. The action is slick, fast and furious and incorporates several animal characters made by the performer.
This slapstick style is not everyone's cup of tea and the children appear to have been filmed at a different time, but the delicacy of manipulation, combined with its speed, make this a must for connoisseurs of Punch and Judy.
Several Punch men have rated this show the best to have come from the States.
I believe he (Prentice) had help from the Larsons (also called Pinxy) but that he made the puppets himself. He appeared at the Palladium in London and also in Paris as well as having given a performance for the then Prince of Wales.
Geoff Felix's web site- http://www.mbertrand.freeserve.co.uk/
To license this film and get a higher quality version for broadcast/film purposes, contact A/V Geeks LLC.
Subject: That is some sick sh*t
Subject: Great services
Subject: Ditto whay "Moosey" said.
Subject: Now I get it - great Punch & Judy show
Also, the kids are probably such lousy actors because they did not grow up with TV.
Subject: ....Oh Man..
A surreal film that you should only watch so that you can say in all honesty that you've watched it.
Subject: Pulls both ways
Subject: Punch-Violence and Political Correctness
Should children today go to a traditional Punch show? If they were taught to understand its real meaning, I would say perhaps. Political correctness is like an ostrich burying its head in the sand. It can pretend something does not exist but sooner or later reality will find it. Children who grow up thinking the world is always a beautiful place are in for a big surprise when they finally leave the nest!
The following quotes are borrowed from a Punch site in the U.K. I feel they help to emphasize my point.
The Slapstick is a traditional clown's weapon of long and honourable pedigree. Here's how it is described in the Oxford English Dictionary: "Slap-stick: the flexible lath used by the harlequin in a pantomime etc. for making a great noise with the pretence of dealing a heavy blow. Figuratively it is applied to boisterous or knockabout comedy" Yes, the weapon of choice of Mr. Punch is the very object which gave its name to the whole genre of slapstick comedy. Those outraged citizens who wish to consider it an offensive weapon, the very use of which is an incitement to real-life violence, are invited by the College to class custard pies, buckets of water and banana skins in the same category. They are further invited to impose a ban on clowns' cars on the grounds that they encourage dangerous driving.
The use of the slapstick (which Mr. Punch took up when he became a glove puppet) is in common with the batons, frying pans and similar comic weapons used by his counterparts in other cultures. They form part of the rythmic, percussive soundtrack that underscores a good live performance of Punch and Judy in much the same way that Tom and Jerry style cartoon animation is punctuated by thumps, boings, whistles and crashes.
When someone wrote to Charles Dickens seeking to enlist his help in 'banning' Punch as a work of Satan, they didn't know that the eminent author was a fan of the puppet show. Dickens reponse is still quoted by performers today. He wrote "In my opinion the Street Punch is one of those extravagant reliefs from the realities of life which would lose its hold upon the people if it were made moral and instructive. I regard it as quite harmless and as an outrageous joke which no one in existence would think of regarding as an incentive to any kind of action or as a model for any kind of conduct. It is possible, I think, that one secret source of pleasure very generally derived from this performance is the satisfaction the spectator feels in the circumstances that likenesses of men and women can be so knocked about without any pain or suffering". (The Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol V, 1847 - 1849. Ed. G. Storey and K.J.Fielding. Clarendon Press 1981. The letter was written on Nov. 6th.)
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Subject: Ka-POW! SOCK!!
Subject: I had no idea
Subject: This was stupid
Subject: Rough stuff for kids.
Hay, it's a good "print" but the sound is rough...as for the content well....I't's not my cup of tea.
Recomended as a cultural artifact only, not as "art".
Subject: I shouldn't be laughing at this...
Subject: Disturbing and odd!
Subject: Great Puppetteering, but...
Boy Howdy, the boxing puppets were pretty extreme racist characters.
Subject: Larry Fein Lookalike Santa Harasses Children Comedy Insues
During a brief intermission a couple of Al Jolson-inspired African-American stereotype puppets pop out and sing while the young white children pretend to find it funny... or suffer the consequences of the drunken Larry Fine-lookalike Santa. The Punch and Judy show returns to the mini stage and the violence continues.
Subject: Silly Warning...
But seriously, this has to be the most senseless violence I've ever seen...it's quite absurdly funny.